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Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE CORPSE VANISHES  Rewatch   Season 1, Ep 5

Rewatch! Bela Lugosi plays a mad scientist who extracts brain juice from young brides to keep his wife young, because that's a thing that works. Come on, if it did Trump would be trying to suck it out of people's heads with a drinking straw. Both this and the previous movie are among the oldest films MST ever did, made in 1942. There's another Commando Cody short too, and some classic sketches, such as the robots saying bedtime prayers and the haircut bit. Previously
posted by JHarris on Mar 12, 2020 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET  Rewatch   Season 1, Ep 4

Rewatch! Space people crash on a planet, and leave behind a man and woman. The departing commander names the planet Earth, making the left-behinds Adam and Eve. Except since this is obviously before any terrestrial languages how did that name come down to us? And there are neanderthals on the planet too. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, is what I'm saying. At least it's in color. This is actually the last episode made of the first season, so it's not as quiet as some other 1st season episodes. This is the episode that gives MST its most popular catchphrase, Hikeeba! Previously [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 5, 2020 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: STARCRASH  Rewatch   Season 11, Ep 6

Re-rewatch! Stella Starr and her platonic space wizard friend Akton are on the run from the space police, until they aren't, given a reprieve if they go find Space Emperor Christopher Plummer's son, David Hasselhoff. Along the way they meet a robot with a Texas accent, space amazons and their giant lady robot guardian, stop motion androids, a frozen planet, a traitorous crewman, space cavemen, trooper-carrying space torpedoes, and the evil Count Zarth Arn. An imfamously silly movie, but still fun, there's always something going on. Previously - Also previously [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 5, 2020 - 9 comments

1102 CRY WILDERNESS

One of the highlights of Season 11, Cry Wilderness makes even less sense than the standard Mystery Science movie. Paul is a kid living in a boarding school... but he's friends with Bigfoot... and his teacher doesn't believe in it and is angry with Paul except for when he isn't... and Bigfoot comes to Paul in a vision that his father is in danger... so he hitchhikes... and there's racoons... and a US Marshall with poor eating habits... and a couple of Native Americans, but one is dead... and he has an eagle... and there's an escaped circus tiger... it all makes absolutely no sense. Enjoy!
posted by JHarris on Jan 30, 2020 - 0 comments

1112 CARNIVAL MAGIC

Coming in unexpectedly high among the episodes of Season 11 in the poll is Carnival Magic, a talking ape movie with a very low opinion of both traditional apes and the ones known as men. Particularly hard to watch, but the riffs lessen the pain... somewhat. Could be considered the Manos of the revival. Good luck with this one. Previously - Also Previously
posted by JHarris on Jan 23, 2020 - 0 comments

Rewatch: MST3K 1104 AVALANCHE

A lot of 70s actors try to survive an avalanche caused by one actor's self-sighted building project. Some do, some don't. The audience certainly won't. Previously - Also previously
posted by JHarris on Jan 16, 2020 - 1 comment

1110 WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM I Rewatch

Welcome back to crappy fantasy land, where our apes are bats, and our conquerors have Dad Bod. Previously - Also Previously
posted by JHarris on Jan 9, 2020 - 1 comment

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PUMAMAN  Rewatch   Season 9, Ep 3

#1 from our internet poll of most beloved Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes! A nebbishy white guy in London turns out to be the secret heir to a fantastic Incan/alien legacy of power. Yes, he, somehow, is THE PUMAMAN, as detected, by the much-more-appropriate Vadinho, by dint of throwing him out of a tall building and him surviving. The Pumaman's powers are needed because of the evil plot of the malevolent Dr. Kobras, played by Donald Pleasence, who, always a professional, does his best with a bad role. Let's all sing the theme song! "When, you want, the flavor of ba-con in a dip...." Previously [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 19, 2019 - 15 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: I ACCUSE MY PARENTS  Rewatch   Season 5, Ep 7

Jimmy is a high-school student who writes essays about how great his family is, but in fact his home life is terrible. So, he goes right out and gets in trouble with the mob. Remember parents, if you don't throw your kid a birthday party they'll go out and crime it up, and lie about literally every. thing. Fortunately hamburgers dispensed by kindly diner owners are the cure for all moral lapses. Thank you cows, for being our huge lowing Jesuses! Previously Next week is the last episode in our poll tour. See inside for more information on MST Club.
posted by JHarris on Dec 9, 2019 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THIS ISLAND EARTH  Rewatch   Season 7, Ep 7

Carl is a Serious Scientist who's been sent a parts catalog in the mail, but the parts are crazy-pants, and further the catalog describes how to build an "Interociter." which apparently can perform housework? and display video communications? Rather than returning that thing right back to Archie McPhee Carl decides to order the parts and build it. Amazingly, rather than being a hilarious practical joke at his expense, it presents the smiling face of Exeter, who invites him to join with other Human Scientists at their Laboratory. From there, let's just say the dominos have been set in motion, and a trip to space and a confrontation with Scrotor is inevitable. In the history of the show, this episode actually isn't the show, but MST: The Movie. It's been written up on Fanfare before, here. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 5, 2019 - 9 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SPACE MUTINY  Rewatch   Season 8, Ep 20

Rewatch! Commander Santa and aerobics witches! Slab Bulkhead and Back-From-The-Dead Susie! Apple II computer effects and stolen Battlestar Galactica footage! Calgon, take them away! Widely consider one of the best episodes, this South African production is hilariously strange. Previously
posted by JHarris on Nov 21, 2019 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: MITCHELL  Rewatch   Season 5, Ep 12

Rewatch! Joe Don Baker IS Mitchell, a cop that doesn't play by the rules. For example, the rules about drinking on the job. The rules about sleeping with prostitutes. The rules about interacting with other human beings, especially kids. Certainly the rules about nutrition and hygiene. There is a story here about a drug dealer and his henchman who Mitchell seems like is almost trying to annoy into turning themselves in. In the end the lasting impression caused by this movie can be summed up in two words: BABY OIL. You'll know why when it appears on screen. (shudder) In the show's history this episode is especially notable for being Joel Hodgson's last as host. Previously [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 7, 2019 - 16 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE  Rewatch   Season 4, Ep 24

Resuffer! For Halloween this year, we've moved an episode up an week. Spend All Hallow's Eve with us, Torgo and the gang! Previously. And we've got a whole bunch more Halloween stuff before and after at MST Club this week!
posted by JHarris on Oct 30, 2019 - 13 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: LASERBLAST  Rewatch   Season 7, Ep 6

Rewatch! A teen with a sad life finds a laser gun in the desert, which turns out to be a particularly bad influence on him. Fortunately the claymation lizard patrol is on the case. This was the last episode in the Comedy Central run of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Previously.
posted by JHarris on Oct 24, 2019 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS  Rewatch   Season 3, Ep 21

Rewatch! And of course we'll be rewatching it again when the Christmas thingy roll back around. There are now three Christmas movie episodes of MST3K; this is the one that's "classically" the worst, appearing on many lists of the worst of all time.I like the idea of it, the willingness to take an absurd premise seriously, and the energy (most of) the actors bring to it. But then there's Dropo.... Previously. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 10, 2019 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WEREWOLF  Rewatch   Season 9, Ep 4

Time for snausages! A man gets werewolved by touching old teeth, kills some people, sleeps "nose to anus," and eventually passes his condition to his girlfriend. Remember to inform romantic partner about possible STDs. A popular episode! Contains both a host segment song and the "Tusk!" gag over the closing credits. Previously.
posted by JHarris on Sep 19, 2019 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE FINAL SACRIFICE  Rewatch   Season 9, Ep 10

Rewatch! Come along with us on a road trip to the lost city of Ziox. Don't mind that pesky cult in our way; we've got Troy the Kid and Zap the Rowsdower coming too! We can do a sing-along! We're getting to the really classic episodes now. Ilana let us know last year that the actor who played Rowsdower, Bruce K. Mitchell, passed away. Previously.
posted by JHarris on Sep 11, 2019 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SOULTAKER  Rewatch   Season 10, Ep 1

Rewatch! What awaits us after we die? If this movie is to be believed, we end up inside little rings such as the kind Sonic the Hedgehog collects, ferried back and forth through the afterlife by glorified deliverymen in black suits, overseen by the fearsomely-chinned Robert Z'Dar. A classic Season 10 episode, both for the ridiculous movie and for cameo appearances by both TV's Frank and Joel Hodgson, last seen in 624 and 512 respectively. Previously.
posted by JHarris on Sep 5, 2019 - 9 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SQUIRM  Season 10, Ep 12

"This was the night of the CRAWLING TERROR!" I have one more useful science factoid to teach you: if you run an electrical current through an earthworm, it'll become an aggressive monster and crave human flesh! But only while the current is running. This movie helpfully shows us the lethal consequences of downed power lines, which result in the depopulation of a small town. But it's a Georgia town, so, no worries. With the short A Case of Spring Fever: A film that warns us, for the sake of all mankind, to guard our tongues! Say no careless words in wishing for the absence of any petty thing that annoys you, for there may be an omnipotent spirit listening, and waiting, willing, even eager, to remove all those things from the universe just to spite you personally. To think of all the things our world has lost, all because some schmuck decided to say aloud he was annoyed with, say, immortality this week. One more film about unpleasant people in the South. Notable for containing the phrase, "You gonna be da worm face now!" The episode contains MST3K's last short, and it's one of the best. Episode 1012 is available on YouTube. Premiered August 1, 1999. One episode left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 30, 2018 - 9 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: IT LIVES BY NIGHT  Season 10, Ep 10

a.k.a. The Bat People. "No matter how hard you pray or how loud you scream there is no escape... no escape... no escape... no escape..." A guy on a research honeymoon gets bitten by a bat and starts transforming into some kind of... bat... person as a result, sure that happens. Look out for the special surprise ending where we find out bat-person-osis is also an STD. Pearl has fun mutating the SOL crew, and Tom Servo has way too big of a mustache. An okay episode. Episode 1010 is available on YouTube. Premiered July 18, 1999. Three episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 18, 2018 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: BLOOD WATERS OF DR. Z  Season 10, Ep 5

a.k.a. Zaat. "Is The Monster Man...Fish...Or Devil?" "It Would Take An Atom Bomb To Wipe Out The Walking Catfish!" "WARNING! Positively no one admitted during last 15 minutes!" Sargassum! After a short, nonsensical narration of an aquarium, a scientist charts on his gigantic circular day-planner his revenge on the scientific establishment, and the world that shunned his ideas, by turning himself into a monster that he calls (but isn't) a fish, then sets about making himself a fishy mate, while very southern authorities try to stop him. We've been through some adventures, haven't we? Well here's one more, the last of what I'd call the extreme pain category of episodes. Great host segments in this one! This episode is available to watch on YouTube. Premiered June 27, 1998. Eight episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 14, 2018 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: FUTURE WAR  Season 10, Ep 4

"It came from the future to hunt humans." A human taken from the past to be a slave in the future escapes to the present. He's chased by a familiar-looking guy with a really big chin and his dinosaur trackers. Nicely inconspicuous, future guy! He's helped by a street-wise nun and her street gang friends. Thank you for not killing me. In the words of Crow, "You know, I could point out it's not the future and there isn't a war, but you know me. I don't like to complain." This is a particularly laughable movie, although not one of the show's more famous episodes. Episode 1004 is available on YouTube. Premiered April 25, 1999. Nine episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 7, 2018 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: MERLIN'S SHOP OF MYSTICAL WONDERS  Season 10, Ep 3

"In a world where magic truly exists, anything can happen." What if... someone made a movie like The Princess Bride, except instead of Peter Falk he could only get Ernest Borgnine, and instead of a charming and witty tale he had two mediocre made-for-TV fantasy-horror movies, and the kid instead of going to sleep with dreams of high adventure and romance was instead left with nightmares of demonic familiars and cursed deadly toy monkeys? In a world where schlock truly exists anything can happen. I love this one, it's all so bizarre and inexplicable. It's easy to make fun of Ernest Borgnine (hell, I do it too) but he had a long career and seemed like a good guy. In subplot land Pearl performs an experiment on Mike and co. for the Mad Science accreditation board. Taste the rainbow of fruit pain! Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders is available on YouTube. Premiered September 12, 1999. By the way: this was the last new episode of MST3K to appear on the Sci-Fi channel, actually showing after the series conclusion. Ten episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 28, 2018 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: GIRL IN GOLD BOOTS  Season 10, Ep 2

"VIBRANT... UNPREDICTABLE... She hungered for fame... the men in her life offered love, danger, excitement!" "She murdered for fame, but the price tag was too much!" Michele is a dancer with big dreams: to work as a go-go girl in a seedy restaurant called EAT. Her meteroic rise is troubled by the conflicting attractions of EAT's janitor (name of "Critter"), and Buz, EAT's drug dealer. Will she be able to keep her pretty pretty mind? Will you? There are only four Sci-Fi Channel era episodes that don't have to do with sci-fi, fantasy or horror, and this is the first. Although the horror could come from all the slime dripping off the film, which is off-putting to sane people. This episode kicks off the "Mad Scientist accreditation" subplot in Castle Forrester, which would last to the end of the show. Episode 1002 can be found on YouTube. Premiered June 27, 1998. 11 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 21, 2018 - 17 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SOULTAKER  Season 10, Ep 1

"There is no stairway to heaven." Because it turns out to be an elevator. Some dumb teens cross the Maximum Allowable Dumb line and are punished via a car crash that kills them. But wait, maybe they aren't dead? Because it turns out the Grim Reaper (Joe Estevez) is incompetent and can't leave personal issues at home. His boss (Robert Z'dar) is so going to write him up. This is a great episode, not just because the movie is goofy and the riffing excellent. This is the episode where "TVs" Frank Conniff and show creator and first host Joel Hodgson come back to visit! This is the first episode of the 10th season of MST3K, the final classic season of the show. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered June 27, 1998. 12 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 14, 2018 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: QUEST OF THE DELTA KNIGHTS  Season 9, Ep 13

"In an age of swords and sorcery, one young hero holds the key to infinite wisdom--and ultimate power." Not any sorcery, actually. Somewhere in the medieval nation of Europe, a young boy is sold as a slave but bought/rescued by "Baydool," who works for the "Delta Knights," against the villainous "Vultare," who works for "The Mannerjay." They're trying to find the lost treasure of Archimedes, Leonardo da Vinci is with them--if you try to make sense of when or where this film happened you'll go crazy. Roll for initiative! This is an underrated episode I think. The movie's got a crazy premise, the settings seem like they came from a LARP, and it just opens itself to riffing, which is nice after a couple of numbing episodes. Host segments are also great, with the "Loaner AMC Crow," another of Servo's chorus performances, and Pearl doing the riffing for the first quarter of the episode. This is the end of Season Nine of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Assembled people and robots, we have entered the home stretch. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered September 26, 1998. 13 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 7, 2018 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: DEVIL FISH  Season 9, Ep 11

"Sink your teeth into pure terror." "Wave goodbye..." Good luck making sense of this horribly-edited movie. A fish (with tentacles somehow) is terrorizing some folk, was made by a villain, and others are trying to stop them. There's some sex in there I think too. Pearl rents the castle out as a cruise ship (what) and Mike twice incurs the wrath of the Space Dolphin empire (what). In a host segment, Crow muses about combining a shark with an octopus, making him technically the ultimate origin of the movie Sharktopus. Thanks a heap, 'bot. Promo The episode itself doesn't appear to be on YouTube. Premiered August 15, 1998. 15 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 25, 2018 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE FINAL SACRIFICE  Season 9, Ep 10

"A lost city... A cult of unholy warriors... And a boy's quest for the secret of his father's death." Teenaged orphan Troy is on a quest across Canada to find out what happened to his father. In a pair of improbable coincidences, he meets a reformed, former member of the cult responsible for his death and his old partner, before finally confronting its leader. That reformed cult member goes by the name of Zap Rowsdower.... Fans generally regard this as one of the best of the Sci-Fi Channel era episodes. Both the riffing and the host segments are first-rate. This episode gives us the Canada Song and a Satellite-wide outbreak of Hockey Hair. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered July 25, 1998. 16 episodes left. Extra: The Rowsdower Song, from a post I made some time back. Have some more Rowsdowers. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 17, 2018 - 16 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: GORGO  Season 9, Ep 9

LIKE NOTHING YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE! A gigantic sea lizard emerges from the ocean off the British coast and wrecks stuff, but is captured. Then its mother shows up. Oops! Mormo could not be reached by press time. Note that the short intro blurbs often seen in these writeups are taken from advertising for the movie. I don't myself claim you've never seen something like this obvious British Godzilla clone before. Leonard Maltin (a good sport) shows up in a couple of host segments! This episode is not available on YouTube. Premiered July 18, 1998. 17 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 11, 2018 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE TOUCH OF SATAN  Season 9, Ep 8

"'The Touch of Satan' makes 'Rosemary's Baby' look like a Sunday school picnic!" - LA Free Press A guy falls in love with a weird gal who enchants him by telling him, of a lake, "This is where the fish lives!" Unfortuately, it turns out she's an actual enchantress, that is to say a witch, in turn to say Of The Devil, aka Gorgo and Mormo, and her gramma's both her sister and a murderer, or, as one character terms them, "fromakidal maniacs." Yet another movie not to expect a happy ending from. This is the episode where "Deadly" Beez McKeever babysits Observer (who she calls "Brian") and Bobo (who she thinks is a dog), in some particularly beloved host segments. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered July 11, 1998. 18 episodes left. Zaa! [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 2, 2018 - 19 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: HOBGOBLINS  Season 9, Ep 7

Warning: HOBGOBLINS - May Cause Blindness and Death Boy, that sure is a bad movie, won't you? It sure is, you know! An old guy spends his whole life working as a security guard for an old film studio just to prevent other security guards from unleashing the evil plush toys that live in one of its vaults. He is terrible at this. The "Hobgoblins" get loose, and it's up to a straight-laced new recruit and his upsettingly horny friends to save the world, and themselves, from their hallucinatory, fantasy-granting powers. Of all the movie types we've seen on our tour through the Mystery Science Theater, among them gray 50s sci-fi, brutal biker movies, an Orwellian children's film, post-apocalyptic warrior fightan, barely-clad pepla and vibrant Soviet fantasy, comes a new category: wannabe sex farce/horror. The result is unquestionably another one of the worst movies MST ever did, and yet pretty recent for that. What can you do with those Hobgoblins? Here comes one now! Watch out, you little doodad! YouTube (1h32m) Premiered June 27, 1998. 19 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 21, 2017 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SPACE CHILDREN  Season 9, Ep 6

Kids serve the telepathic bidding of a Blob from Space to sabotage military weapons. The twist: the Blob is a good guy! With short Century 21 Calling: At the Seattle World's Fair, everyone is excited about PHONES. You'll be able to record frequently-called numbers onto little plastic cards! An uncommonly ridiculous movie and short combo. Warning: contains Uncle Fester in shorts! This is another episode that's not on DVD, and probably never will be. Vimeo (1h32m) Premiered June 13, 1998. 20 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 13, 2017 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DEADLY BEES  Season 9, Ep 5

"hives of horror! Excited by the smell of fear they inflict their fatal stings!" A British singer collapses on television and is sent to the countryside to recuperate. I guess she shouldn't have used AirB&B. Also apparently the British take forever to investigate anything. This episode is infamously unavailable commercially by any means, not YouTube, DVD, Video on Demand or streaming; it's one of those final few episodes where the copyright owners seem almost affronted at the temerity of that Midwest puppet show at making fun of their movie and have refused to license it for release. In subplot news, the other Observers are back and try to take Brain Guy away. Pearl and Bobo's attempts at getting him to stay is as close to touching as this deeply ridiculous show ever gets. Premiered May 9, 1998. 21 episodes left. (guy with bowler hat appears mysteriously, nods, and walks off into distance) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 7, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WEREWOLF  Season 9, Ep 4

aka Arizona Werewolf. "Rest in... beast." Did you know you can contract werewolfism through improper handling of teeth? Yuri discovers this and infects Paul with Involuntary Furry Syndrome. He did this to make money exhibiting Paul-as-wolf, since as we all know sideshow exhibitions are so very lucrative. Paul escapes this fate through the application of a timely mauling and hooks up with his GF, who becomes a werewolf too. Now the two of them spend their nights terrorizing the townfolk; what a romantic ending! It's another fan favorite episode! When this episode was made, the movie was only three years old! This is the episode with the brilliant "Tusk!" bit over the movie's credits music. Satellite News subsite Ward E cataloged all the references, and this YouTube video overlays the MST versions with the originals (2m). YouTube (1h32m). Premiered April 18, 1998. 22 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 29, 2017 - 17 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PUMAMAN  Season 9, Ep 3

AKA "L'uoma Puma." Donald Pleasence has stolen a mind-control mask, and it's up to The Pumaman to stop him! But we don't know who that is yet! So faithful priest Vadinho throws people out of windows until he finds the one guy who survives it: must be him. Watch him soar through the air with the opposite of grace! We are all surely doomed. This is a beloved episode, the riffing is terrific throughout. The great improbability that our hero could be an Anything Man makes the whole thing ridiculous on its face, but it keeps on stretching the premise further and further. In Castle Forrester, Pearl plans a ball but Brain Guy's party to watch the new episode of Sliders is more popular. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered April 4, 1998. 23 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 16, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PROJECTED MAN  Season 9, Ep 1

"Born a man... turned into a living laser beam by science's most gruesome experiment!" "A Billion Volts of Death in Every Finger!" Another dang fool scientist is inventing a teleporter, and again he's impatient for results so he tests it on himself and becomes a monster. Isn't it weird when a movie's hubristic Tampering In God's Domain amounts to moving somewhere? Hey here's a thought, why not just walk a few steps across the room and maybe not turn into a deformed horror? Lembeck is staying! The movie's okay but the thing about this episode is that the "endless chase" subplot is finally over, although it takes a season for the opening theme to catch up with this fact. Pearl and henchies finally arrive at and settle into ancestral family home Castle Forrester, the show's site until the end of the classic era. Pearl discovers a family history in which she finds out her family has been forcing bad art on hapless subjects for ages. In this, we find out that the female half of her family basically have the same first-naming conventions as the Crystal Gems, which could make for some really odd fanfiction if anyone wants to write it. (Kinga breaks that trend though.) YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 22, 1997. 25 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 2, 2017 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK  Season 8, Ep 22

"Caught in a future world, his only escape is back in time." Raul Julia is Aram Fingal, who lives in a future dystopia and gets in trouble by scrolling up Casablanca at his data entry job. So he's doppled into a baboon--thankfully, not an anteater--but an impish schoolkid loses his body, so he's then-doppled into the world-running computer for safe keeping. He pretends to be Rick from Casablanca, meets his dead mom of whom he asks, "My nuts?" and runs afoul of both computech Apollonia Jones and the CEO of Novicorp. Look, I've seen the movie several times and I'm just as lost as you are. This has gotta be the most nonsensical movie in MST3K's rich history of nonsense. Gloriously silly and yet seems not to even notice. Made for public television, it's another strong contender for Worst Movie They Riffed. It's filled with heaping helpings of made-up future jargon like a kind of sad Nadsat. Get ready everyone, it's Fingal time! In the host segments, Pearl decides to run her own pledge drive and rake in the dollars. This is the end of season eight of Mystery Science Theater 3000. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 22, 1997. 26 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 26, 2017 - 33 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TIME CHASERS  Season 8, Ep 21

aka Tangents. "His Mission is to Save the Future. But Time Waits For No Man...." A guy invents a time machine in his airplane, but a huge corporation plans on misusing it. Yeah, it's kind of like if Michael Moore made Back To The Future. Wow, evil corporations, huh? You can always turn to them when you need a good villain. I am not pointing this out to subvert it; they are a power for evil in our world, a blight upon the land. Anyway, this is a pretty darn decent episode. Thankfully all that Roman Times stuff is over with, and for the last couple of episodes of Season 8 the show was free to just drift out in space (well, that and a public television station, we'll get into that next week). Mike and Pearl have a nice little talk in the Widowmaker! It's nice to see neighbors get along, even when one of them is a mad scientist and the other is her hapless movie-watching victim. Also, in the movie segments, a couple of segments have the big brother of Mike (the character), Eddie, in the theater, played by Mike (the actor), who is rather less congenial than Mike (the character). Er, you understood that, right? Observer gets in a visual riff during the credits! And at the end there's a spare Crow hanging out in Minnesota who is never mentioned again. Next week is the last episode of Season 8. Episode 821 TIME CHASERS does not appear to be on YouTube. Premiered November 22, 1997. 27 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 18, 2017 - 11 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SPACE MUTINY  Season 8, Ep 20

aka "Mutiny in Space" "There Is Nowhere to Hide from the Enemy Within!" On a colony ship sailing through the void of space, very very white people fight off a rebellion of equally-white mutineers. Titles provided by an Apple ][. This movie falls right in that zone of inept yet not abysmal, and the riffing is great. Not only do I think it's a terrific introductory episode, so does the A.V. Club. This is the episode where they keep making up names for the beefy guy ("David Ryder"). Slab Bulkhead! Fridge Largemeat! Punt Speedchunk! Here's a list of them! Here's a supercut! In subplot news, it's finally the last of the Roman Times episodes, preparing for the premise that would carry the series to the end of its original run. YouTube (warning: ad in annotations) Premiered November 7, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 12, 2017 - 17 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.  Season 8, Ep 15

"A blast of blood-curdling terror from outer space!" "They used the world's deadliest weapons against this super-secret agent! Women! Women! Women!" A spy tries to stop the use of a flesh-decaying substance from being used for evil by commies. Generally a good episode I think, in the middle of a streak of good episodes. This is the one where Mike is put on cosmic trial for blowing up those planets. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered August 2, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 7, 2017 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RIDING WITH DEATH  Season 8, Ep 14

"An Unforgettable Excursion Into Adventure." Two stories with little in common except that they deal with the adventures of a secret agent guy who can become invisible, stitched together from the 70s show Gemini Man. Why a guy who can become invisible is called Gemini Man escapes me. Another popular episode among fan reviewers, the most amazing thing about it is that TV's Frank wasn't on hand to select it. I like to think his spirit (having temporarily escaped his body) hovers over the episode. Lots of riffs on the actors (especially lead Ben Murphy) and their other roles. Sketches are weird but fun, including Mike as a teppanyaki chef and Crow as Turkey Volume Guessing Man. Promos - YouTube (1h30m) Premiered July 19, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 31, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: JACK FROST  Season 8, Ep 13

AKA "Morozko," or (stupidly) "Frosty." "All the magic of the winter-time wonder-maker to fascinate young and old!" A headstrong Russian guy gets into trouble with a mushroom sprite and his head's turned into that of a bear. Meanwhile a girl has parent issues and is abandoned in the woods. Can Father Frost get these two knuckleheads together? A throwback to the Russian movies of the Comedy Central era, it's another fairly good folktale adaptation made riffing fodder mostly through no fault of its own, the comedy coming from a dreamlike atmosphere, cultural barriers, and the fact that most folktales are pretty dang weird anyway. In the channel-mandated subplot, Pearl's still on her way back from dropping off the space children, leaving Brain Guy and Bobo to bond on Camping Planet. The word is that this movie is shown in some countries on TV around Christmastime, which may explain why it isn't on YouTube in entirety, although there is a 38-minute Best Of reel. If you can find it, it's a classic episode. Promo. Premiered July 12, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 24, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING & BECAME MIXEDUP ZOMBIES  Season 8, Ep 12

(Note: title slightly condensed to fit in the form) "MONSTERS COME REAL! CRASH OUT OF SCREEN! INVADE AUDIENCE! ABDUCT GIRLS FROM THEIR SEATS! Not 3-D. Don't Miss It!" "SEE: The world's first monster musical!" Why do supposedly powerful magicians and sorceresses work at carnivals? Estrella tells fortunes, hypnotises people to make them kill her enemies, and keeps a small heard of mixed-up zombies, overseen by her employee Ortega. In between scenes, there are pointless musical numbers. This one's a full 10/10 for pain folks, beware! Some consider it to be one of the worst movies ever made, and it is the first such MST film of the Sci-Fi Channel era. It is extremely weird at the very least. In the subplot, Pearl takes the space children from last week to return them to their parents, and Observer has a very bad experience with Bobo. Promo - YouTube, Official, with Annotations! (1h32m) Premiered June 14, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 16, 2017 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION  Season 8, Ep 10

"Creeping!... Clawing!... Crushing!" Spider! He is our hero! Well it's not the hero of a small town in Wisconson, as it goes around eating residents, or it would be if he were actually a spider and not a poor special effect. Rioting and chaos are left in its wake. Guys, maybe it's friendly, and is trying to communicate by killing us? Okay maybe not. The movie this week is, once again, tough going. It's brought to us by MST All-Star Bill Rebane, who made... (wait for it)... MONSTER A-GO-GO. Mwa-ha-ha-ha! A film of the genre of people getting devoured by an otherworldly menace, in which way it is eventually poisoned by their accumulated awfulness. In Subplot Land, Pearl's group and the SOL are bothered by pod people. MRxL MRxL MRxL! GO PACKERS WHOOO YouTube (1h33m) Promo Premiered May 5, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 2, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: AT THE EARTH'S CORE  Season 11, Ep 14

"Take the Most Terrifying Journey of Your Life!" "4,000 miles to the center of the earth is a world within our world." We've already been to the Center of the Earth with Kathy Ireland in a Jules Verne adaptation, let's now make the trip with Edgar Rice Burroughs why not. This one's got less vaguely Austrialian dystopia and more dinosaurs and cavepeeps. The day of Kinga's ordained wedding (by Kinga) to Jonah for ratings has arrived and Max isn't too happy about it. We also visit with Pearl and company again, meet the Head Observer, through whom we learn you can hire Observers out to fill out crowds, which is pretty enterprising of the omniscient brainguys. And we meet Jonah's robot Growther and a "Reptilicus Metallicus." Also, cliffhanger ending! Creepy outro! Episode 1114, the final episode of Season 11, is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 12, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: CARNIVAL MAGIC  Season 11, Ep 12

"Elvin Feltner Presents..." A two-bit magician at a one-bit carnival turns out to have the one thing that could make his act quasi-bearable, a sorta-talking chimpanzee. If animals could talk what would they say? According to this movie, absolutely nothing of interest. Beware guys, this movie is the closest we come in Season 11 to the abysmal category, the realm of Manos, Hobgoblins and Monster A-Go-Go. The carnival itself puts out some serious Pirates World vibes. In subplot news, Kinga reveals her diabolical plan to increase her ratings by marrying Jonah. Oh, and there's a guest appearance by someone you may have heard of: Mark Hamill. Episode 1112 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 28, 2017 - 35 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM II  Season 11, Ep 11

"Across the Sea of Dreams... behind the Curtain of Time... lies the land of ultimate fantasy." I bet you weren't looking forward to another visit to the world of last week's movie. Good news, other than the name and executive producer Roger Corman, this movie has nothing to do with the first one! A shepherd who's also a wizard tries to save the world from bad wizards blah blah Tolkien Eddings Brooks. A lot of people think Part 1 was a highlight of the season, but many also think this is a lowlight, so beware guys. A subplot begins in this episode, with Kinga deciding to marry Jonah. And we have another visit from Pearl! Episode 1111 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 21, 2017 - 18 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM I  Season 11, Ep 10

"On The Far Edge Of Fantasy The Ultimate Conflict Is Drawing Near" Young wizard apprentice Simon is aided by an ambulatory hairball and Rowsdower the Conquerer in a bid to overthrow the evil wizard Sherpa. What, it's Sherka? Whatever. Lots of people have proclaimed this the best episode of Season 11, so get ready for some massive goofiness folks. In host segment news, a plot line develops that takes us to the end of the season. Yeah yeah, just don't let it get in the way of the riffing guys! Episode 1110 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 14, 2017 - 14 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: YONGARY, MONSTER FROM THE DEEP  Season 11, Ep 9

A monster movie from South Korea, in which a petroleum-eating monster awakened from the Middle East attacks Seoul. Whatever geopolitical metaphor is intended by this is obscured by the fact that, oh Gamera, we have another little kid protagonist. Yongary's death scene is rather protracted. Ah, another little kid monster movie! And not a Kenny kid either, this is a full-on obnoxious lil brat along the lines of Time Of The Apes' Johnny, or that kid from Godzilla Vs. Megalon. When we meet this kid, he's aiming his superscience itch ray at relatives driving by in their car! There's a lot of other crazy on display here too. Episode 1109 is on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 7, 2017 - 14 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE LOVES OF HERCULES  Season 11, Ep 8

aka Hercules Vs. The Hydra, Gli Amori de Ercole. Hercules' wife is murdered, but it's okay, he finds a new love days later. Then an Amazon queen decides to pursue him as well. It's a collision course with wackiness! Or maybe more murder! Given the number of girlfriends and wives Herc has had throughout these interminable movies, why would any woman stick around with him? It's a death sentence! We're now halfway into Season 11, the Kickstarter-funded revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Pepla (singular peplum) provide for some of the most beloved classic episodes of MST (such as 408 HERCULES UNCHAINED and 410 HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN), but there are also some relatively boring ones. Fan reaction to this episode, at least, seems divided. Episode 1108 can be viewed on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 1, 2017 - 14 comments

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